In this Edition... Show-Me Farm Safety!

Show-Me Farm Safety is an educational campaign created in partnership between the Missouri Departments of Labor and Agriculture in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities that occur on family and commercial farms. With planting and hay season in full swing, this issue highlights tractor and implement safety, lawn mower safety, and a preview of our exhibit at the Missouri State Fair this year!

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Share the Road: Tractor Safety

Alice Moyer-Wing - First Cabinet Member

The unpredictable weather has delayed many Missouri farmers this spring, but they are determined to get their crops in the ground and start cutting hay in hopes to have a profitable year. Even with an urgency to get tasks finished, it’s important to observe safety procedures and not make safety an afterthought.

However, tractor safety isn’t exclusive to farmers and ranchers. It’s crucial for farmers and other motorists to share the road. Farmers will be driving to and from their farms, often times on busy highways. Tractors, especially those pulling implements or full loads, travel at slower speeds and can slow down regular traffic. Motorists need to be patient with those operating farm equipment. Although tractors may significantly slow down traffic, do not attempt to pass tractors unless you can see a clear road ahead.

The most important tip of tractor safety: know your tractor. Each tractor is a uniquely complex machine that requires training to use safely and efficiently. Be sure you know how to operate all parts and implements you may be using. If you are operating machinery with a power take-off (PTO), be sure to have the proper guard on. Never wear loose-fitting clothing around a PTO, and keep all body parts clear. Check out one Missouri farmer’s story about farm safety dealing with a PTO.

If you’re driving a tractor on Missouri highways, the tractor must be equipped with one white light visible from 500 feet to the front and at least one red light visible 500 feet to the rear. It is important to wait for traffic to clear before entering the highway to avoid allowing traffic to build up. Here are some other tips for safe tractor operation:

  • Maintain control of equipment
  • Stay alert
  • Beware of blind intersections
  • Keep the approaching traffic lane clear
  • Use hand signals or turn signals
  • Obey all traffic signs

For more information about safely operating tractors, visit Show-Me Farm Safety.

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Show-Me Farm Safety at the Fair

Lucile Bluford - First Human Rights Commissioner

We are pleased to announce that the Department will again be attending the 2013 Missouri State Fair! The Show-Me Farm Safety booth will be on display in the Agriculture Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds, August 8-18.

For the second year, we are joining forces with the Missouri Department of Agriculture in an effort to provide safety resources for farmers to prevent injuries and fatalities while working on the farm.

This year, the booth will feature displays about tractor and grain safety, as well as first aid and CPR demonstrations.

To learn more about the Missouri State Fair, including information about livestock shows, demonstrations, children’s activities, concerts, and other events, visit the Missouri State Fair website.

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Summer Safety: Lawn Mowers

Ruth Ann Kuntz - First Woman Miner

Summer has begun, the grass is growing by leaps and bounds, and mowing the lawn is a necessary task. However, this simple job can turn dangerous very quickly. If you or your children are out mowing your yard this summer, be sure to go over safety tips to prevent unnecessary accidents.

Children should be at least 12 years of age before operating a push mower and 16 years of age to operate a riding lawn mower. If you have young children, you should teach them to stay away from all running lawn mowers, and they should also not be allowed to play in an area where a lawn mower is in use. Children should never be allowed to ride as passengers on a mower, even with an experienced driver. Severe injuries can happen if the child should fall off the mower.

While zero-turn mowers are gaining in popularity, operators need to be cautious of the high speeds and quick turns of the mower, as well as the layout of the yard. Many fatalities are caused by the mower tipping over onto the operator. The easiest way to improve safety for zero-turn mowers is the use of R.O.P.s (Roll-over Protection Structures). These help prevent injuries in the event of a rollover. Use caution when mowing hills and slopes; mow up and down slopes to prevent the mower from tipping over.

If you are using a zero-turn mower, you should also wear your seatbelt, read the owner’s manual, and wear proper hearing protection. Watch this great video for additional safety tips for zero-turn mowers.

Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants will also protect your skin from sun damage, as well as protect you from flying debris from the lawn mower. Closed-toe shoes are crucial to shield toes from high-speed mower blades and also from flying debris from the mower.

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